The plot is finally starting to develop into something meaningful, though for now it’s still threading in separate (but hopefully parallel). Ichigo’s interaction with Ivan continues to be rather offbeat, but so far Ichigo does seem to intend to fight him even though he hasn’t revealed his intentions yet. The poor guy was trying to make a dramatic entrance, but none of Ichigo’s friends seem to care one bit and he ends up getting kicked out the window. Instead of being an arrancar as I speculated last time though, the pendant he produces plus his clothing suggest that he might be Quincy, which adds on to the possibility that the Quincies will take a bigger role in this arc. Unfortunately, given Ishida’s track record in this show, I’m not sure how much I look forward to that.
Back in Soul Society, the investigation into the disappearing residents of Rukongai continues, but the most interesting development would be the group of masked figures in white showing up in Yamamoto’s barracks and declaring war. When I first saw them I was hoping they would be the elusive Squad Zero, but it looks like it’s not them. Again, I’m tempted to guess that they are Quincies, but that’s not certain yet. If that is the case though, they certainly have a good reason to harbor hate towards Soul Society. My only reservation is that I really can’t imagine the Quincies as the villains; in addition, the Quincies were pretty much wiped out many years ago so it would be impressive if they could rebuild that much strength in such a short period of time. Whoever this group is though, it’s likely they are related in some way to the incidents in both Soul Society and the real world. Ichigo will certainly be closely involved again, and I get the sense that it’ll be following the same formula as all the previous arcs again. The most obvious example so far: the new two new characters are proving to be utterly useless, and will probably not be contributing too much in terms of anything.
For those following Bleach, I’m looking for some feedback on my posts and writing, so if you have anything you want to say about what you like, don’t like, would like, or just about the general format of posts, feel free to leave comments below. Also, please mark your current status on the manga and anime. This poll, along with another anime-specific one, will also be in the next anime post (hence the “anime-only” option).